Stall-sharing returns to Hyesan

Pictured Above (Google Earth): The Hyesan Market (L) and a street market (R).

According to the Daily NK:

The authorities in Hyesan have embarked on an experiment that permits multiple traders to utilize each stall in the city jangmadang (market).

A source from the Yankang Province city told Daily NK on the 30th, “Hyesan Municipal People’s Committee has been struggling for a while to decide what to do with all these traders in the streets outside the market. So, they’ve decided to try and co-opt them by restarting stall-sharing arrangements. Any trader, even ones who used to trade in the streets, can now operate inside the market as long as they are ready to pay.”

“The traders rotate six days a week, and on Sundays the original stallholder gets to decide who trades there,” the source went on.

However, many of the original stallholders are reportedly angry at the move, according to the source, with many asking why they are being stopped from trading for almost half the week.

“But,” she said, “the Market Management Office is having none of it, so they have little choice but to oblige.”

The idea of stall-sharing has been tried before in Hyesan, but with little success. “Just last year they ordered the same thing to happen,” the source recalled, “but it wasn’t long before things went back to normal.”

That being said, she went on, “Now because the order has come from the Upper (Central Party), they are really trying to do it.”

Defectors from the city and others with experience of trading directly in the market say the measure has far more to do with controlling traders working illegally on the city streets than improving the efficiency of the market itself. In fact, they say the measure is likely to have a deleterious effect on market operations.

Seo Ok Ran, a 42-year old defector now living in the Dongdaemun area of Seoul pointed out, “Last year when they did this I had a hard time finding the right stallholders for the items I needed. At the end of the day, it just reduces trade.”

It is unclear whether the new rules are being applied nationwide, or are restricted to the area under the remit of Hyesan Municipal People’s Committee.

Read the full story here:
Stall-Sharing Returns to Hyesan
Daily NK
Kang Mi Jin


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